Apple, Box, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Salesforce in the News
By Jim Lundy
We haven’t yet reached the first half of September but vendors are making waves with multiple, newsworthy announcements. Not all of the products are available, but all are intended to keep the sales pipeline full. In this Week in Tech blog, we summarize some of the Vendor announcements and news from the past two weeks.
Apple iPhone 7, Apple Watch Series 2, and AirPods
The ink isn’t even dry on the Apple announcement from Wednesday and the iPhone 7 is available for order taking. More than anyone else, Apple, with a huge retail store presence, needs new products to keep people coming to their stores; the iPhone 7 won’t disappoint. The Apple Watch Series 2 is also coming and with it a version that is branded with Nike. We think that the AirPod ear phones have significant potential due to the fact that you can speak to Siri without the phone being in your hand. Apple didn’t announce new MacBooks, prompting a customer to email Tim Cook – and he responded.
Box and IBM Announce Relay
In a first, Box and IBM are jointly designing a new workflow service designed for business professionals that is called Relay. It looks and feels like the Box user interface and it puts others on notice that UX is the new imperative in workflow. The interesting thing about this announcement is that it is a jointly developed product. Box is doing the front-end and IBM is doing the backend workflow engine. Both firms will be able to sell Relay. Read more about Relay and BoxWorks, their sixth annual Customer Event here.
Google Buys Apigee to Bolster Cloud Connectivity
On September 8th, Google announced it was buying API Management provider Apigee Corp, for $625 Million. This is very interesting timing since Okta’s announcements last week for extending its Identity Service to APIs was based on a partnership with Apigee. Clearly, Google’s Diane Green is stepping up the pace at Google for Work, the Enterprise-focused Division at Google.
IBM: HR Transformed with Watson
At IBM’s U.S. HR Summit last week in Boston, IBM showed off new alignment between the IBM Software Group—Smarter Workforce and and IBM Global Services—a more unified go-to-market. They also showed some compelling demos of how Watson is powering new Cognitive Apps for Learning and for Recruiting that really represent the future. It is clear that Bob Schultz, the new GM at IBM SmarterWorkforce, is making an impact.
Microsoft Preps Skype Teams to Compete with Slack and Cisco Spark
Microsoft has been pushing Skype for Business hard as part of the bundle with Office 365. Last week, a rumor surfaced that they will be enhancing Skype with what is called “Skype for Teams” to compete more natively in Mobile Messaging/Chat. We cover this space in-depth and can’t wait to see how Microsoft will enhance Skype to compete more directly with Slack and with Cisco Spark. Read more about Aragon’s Collaboration coverage here.
Salesforce Gets Smarter with Einstein
Salesforce isn’t waiting to fall behind in the race to the Predictive Enterprise. It is teasing the market about Salesforce Einstein—which will be formally announced at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual Customer Event in October. Last week Salesforce also announced Lightning Bolt, a new framework that allows partners and customers to create new communities, portals and websites.
The week of September has come and gone and we are just getting started with the fall announcements. Developing…